Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hunting Island Lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina

Hello and welcome to Mimi Mine, my blog!

As far back as I can remember, I have loved lighthouses. Everything about them is incredibly intriguing. The manner in which each is constructed, from the height, colors and shapes of paint patterns, is so diverse around the world. The location and history of each one is of interest to me. One of the boards on my Pinterest accounts is all about lighthouses from different locations around the world, including a few of my own pictures taken from personal visits and tours.

If you care to visit my Lighthouses board on Pinterest, I am providing the link here.

On a recent day trip to Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina, we had the privilege of visiting the Hunting Island Light. Though we had visited the beach on the island some years ago, we didn't make it to the lighthouse.

Like many of these wonderful old structures, this one is no longer used as a functioning lighthouse, but remains open to the public. For a minimal fee visitors can go inside and climb all the way to the top of this wonderful old lighthouse structure. Hunting Island Light is the only lighthouse in the state of South Carolina that remains open to the public.

Construction of the original lighthouse began in 1859 but the tower was destroyed during the Civil War in 1862. Development for reconstruction began in the 1860s and designed as a "segmented cast iron" structure.  It was constructed in this way so that it could later be disassembled and moved if required.

Erection of the replacement structure began in 1873 with completion in 1975.  The cast-iron segments are bolted together and form a shell. The cast-iron shell is lined with bricks, which are the main load bearing element in the tower.

The cast-iron spiral staircase with 167 steps is quite decorative with railings and beams for support. The observation deck is an elaborate structure, as well, and provides impressive views of the ocean and beach.
Hunting Island Light  House, Hunting Island State Park, S.C.

Lighthouse at Hunting Island, S.C.
Originally, Hunting Island Lighthouse was erected on a site on the northern portion of Hunting Island, South Carolina. Because of erosion of the beach at that location, there was a threat of damage to the lighthouse and its appurtenant structures. The lighthouse and structures were relocated about a mile from the original site in 1889. It remains there today.

Operation of the lighthouse continued until 1933 when it was deactivated. Here, at the website of Friends of Hunting Island, you can read a little more about Hunting Island, Hunting Island Lighthouse, the beaches and other activities. There is a good video where you can hear the park manager as he speaks about the island and activities.

Of course, because of modern technological advances, most lighthouses are no longer used for the original purpose of acting as a beacon to help sailors navigate the waters safely as they approach the area.Though the original lamp is no longer functioning at the top of the lighthouse at Hunting Island, a rotating light has been installed in its place. The light is turned on at dusk and as it rotates through the night, it gives visitors to the park a feeling that it is still a functioning lighthouse.

For those who enjoy camping, there are camping spaces, as well!

Needless to say, even though it was going to take some determination on my part, I intended to climb every last one of the 167 steps leading up the spiral staircase in this 132 foot beauty. My upper back has been giving me some trouble and I did have a moment or two of self-doubt. Even so, I felt that if the muscles in my legs could hold out, I could make it all the way up.

Hunting Island Lighthouse, Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina-USA
It was pretty hot inside the lighthouse and I stopped a couple of times a long the way up to take a breather. I remember thinking, at one point, about the fact that the staircase was becoming increasingly narrower the farther up that I went. In a moment of trepidation, I even envisioned rescuers trying to maneuver a stretcher, with my body on it, around the curves of that spiral staircase. Not a happy thought, I must say!

My daughter, son-in-law and grandson had already left me and had long since made it to the top with out me. They were none the worse for wear. I mean, honestly, if they could still do this:
My Daughter and her Husband on the Deck at the Top of Hunting Island Light House
Yes, I took a moment or two, at the landing of every other flight or so of the cast-iron spiral staircase. Yes, it took me a couple of minutes (or so) longer than my much younger counterparts. Still, It was a memorable experience, for sure, but I am happy to say that I made it all the way to the top of Hunting Island Lighthouse--all 167 steps! 
Me on the Deck at the Top of Hunting Island Light House, Hunting Island, S.C.
Do you love the romance and history associated with lighthouses? If you are ever in the area of Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina, I encourage you to take the time to visit the beautiful Hunting Island Light House. 

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this little post about the Lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park.
Thank you for coming by my little space in Blog Land to spend a few moments out of your busy day with me! 

Perhaps you would like to see what some friends are posting about too. I am joining some link parties at the following places:

A Round Tuit
The Inspiration Board Creative Party
Thoughts of Home on Thursday
Share Your Cup
Five Star Frou Frou